Team Basilica were again the boat to beat during yesterday's Volvo Extreme 40 Grand Prix in Rio 24/3/06

The third day of the Volvo Extreme 40 Grand Prix in Rio yesterday provided an exciting spectacle for the public visiting the Volvo Ocean Race Village.

Sailing close to shore in 10-14 knots of wind the five Volvo Extreme 40s enjoyed close racing with plenty of jostling for the podium positions and each race saw a different team take line honours.

With one first place, two seconds and a fourth Team Basilica were again the boat to beat. After 11 races the British team have established a 12-point lead over second placed Motorola-CHR helmed by Leigh McMillan (GBR).

Alistair Richardson, helmsman on Team Basilica commented: “Again this was a super day with very good conditions, although it was a bit shiftier than yesterday. I think the three laps and shorter legs paid off really well though it made it a bit harder on the crew work. It must have been an exciting day for the spectators at the Volvo Ocean Race Village, especially with the boats racing round the leeward mark just five boat lengths away from the coastline.”

A better day for Tommy Hilfiger saw Randy Smyth (USA) and his experienced team move into third place overall, two points in front of Mitch Booth’s Team Holmatro.

Smyth commented: “Today it was sailing at it’s best! We even heard the crowd cheering when we rounded the leeward mark.” He continued, “It was physically demanding today with tight racing and short legs in a good breeze and a lot of it… we are definitely not here for vacation! You need to have a good athletic crew with a lot of different additional skills. That’s what we have and we are looking very much forward to the next days of the Volvo Extreme 40 Grand Prix!”

Although they won the final race of the day, is was a slightly dissapointing outing for Diogo Cayolla (POR) and his crew on Volvo Ocean Race, which included Marco Grael, son of multiple Olympic medallist Torben Grael and the skipper of Brasil 1. A 4,5,5,1 score line saw Cayolla drop to fifth place overall but the points are tight and with one point separating fourth and fifth, two more days of racing left to sail and a no discard series, anything can happen.

Cayolla, commented: “This was a tough day for us! We are quite new to these boats but our crew work is getting better and better each day. Today it was hard doing four races with three very short upwind/downwind legs. We suffered from bad crew work but in the end we managed to win one race. The bay of Rio provides some great sailing waters and is a really nice spot to sail, especially with these boats.”

Racing continues today at 14 00 (local). The series concludes on Sunday 26 March.

Results, day 3 (after 11 races)

1. Basilica (1,1,1,2,3,3,1,2,2,1,4) 91 pts Alister Richardson (GBR), James Grant (GBR), Pete Greenhalgh (GBR), Jonathan Taylor (GBR)
2. Motorola – CHR (2,3,2,1,1,2,2,3,3,4,5) 79 pts Leigh McMillan (GBR), Conrad Humphries (GBR), Will Howden (GBR), Hamish Oliphant (GBR)
3. Tommy Hilfiger (3,5,4,4,5,1,5,5,1,2,3) 66 pts Randy Smyth (USA), Jonathan Farrar (USA), Stan Schreyer (USA), Juliano Viana (BRA)
4. Holmatro (5,4,5,3,4,4,3,1,4,3,2) 64 pts Mitch Booth (AUS), Taylor Booth (AUS), Daan Koene (NED), Herbert Dercksen (NED)
5. Volvo Ocean Race (4,2,3,5,2,5,4,4,5,5,1) 63 pts Diogo Cayolla (POR), Gregg Homann (AUS), Eduardo Pinedo (BRA), Marco Grael (BRA)

Remaining Volvo Extreme 40 Grand Prix Series Dates

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 21-26 March, 2006
Baltimore, USA 28 April – 3 May, 2006
Portsmouth, UK 27 May – 3 June, 2006
Rotterdam, Netherlands 9-14 June, 2006